One lump or poo: World's most expensive coffee at £30 a cup made using beans digested and, er, flavoured by elephants


Organic production: Black Ivory coffee is now the world's most expensive varieties costing $1,100 (£685) per kilogram. Thai women collect the dung in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, before sifting through for

Forget robusta and arabica - this is the world's most expensive coffee, given its unique flavour elephant's digestive tract.
The thought of a coffee bean passing through an elephant's internal organs might not leave coffee-lovers overly enthused.
But the unique coffee, created in the hills of northern Thailand, is now the world's most expensive variety.

Master barista: Elephants are fed coffee cherries before they are collected in their dung. The animals' digestive process is said to give the beans their unique flavour

The elephant dung coffee is created when the animals have eaten and digested the beans, with a gut reaction inside the animals said to be responsible for the unique flavouring.
Attendants scurry to collect the huge animals' dung, before forensically sifting through it for the valued beans.
The provenance of the beans may leave some connoisseurs feeling nauseous, but the coffee's price tag certainly places the bean at the highest end of the huge global market.
The coffee is priced at $1,100 (£685) per kilogram.

Inventor: Canadian Blake Dinkin, 41, spent $300,000 developing the production process. He said the first batch of the coffee has all been sold

Acquired taste: A coffee bean picked from elephant dung. The beans digest with bananas and sugar cane which Dinkin says gives the coffee a fruity flavour

But for those brave enough to give the coffee a try, only the most well-travelled will be able to get their hands on a cup.
It was launched last month at a few luxury hotels in remote corners of the world - first in northern Thailand, then the Maldives and now Abu Dhabi - with a price tag of around $50 (£31) a cup.
The coffee's creator, Blake Dinkin, said scientific research had made him pursue the idea of using elephants to produce the coffee.

Smelly the elephant: The unique coffee is only available in several luxury hotels in Thailand, the Maldives and Abu Dhabi

Dinkin, who spent $300,000 (£187,000) developing the idea, said: 'When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness. You end up with a cup that's very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.'
The coffee is similar to civet coffee, or Kopi Luwak, another exorbitantly expensive variety extracted from the excrement of the weasel-like civet.
An elephant's massive stomach provides a bonus, however. It takes between 15-30 hours to digest the beans, which stew together with bananas, sugar cane and other ingredients.
Dinkin, 42, from Canada, said this helped infuse unique earthy and fruity flavors.

Brew: Black Ivory coffee is poured into a cup at a hotel restaurant in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand

source: dailymail